Monday, March 31, 2014

Boot Review: Diehard - or Easy?

My second pair of boots for my under-employment employment: DieHard tactical-look boots.
This is my second pair in less than a year. The first pair - black Rothco classic jungle boots - split across both soles. I attempted to repair them with super glue and Gorilla glue to no avail. So I gave up and trekked down to Sears to get a higher-quality pair - in black, per company policy.

The boots I settled on were the DieHard Men's 8 inch Duty Lace-To-Toe Work Boot. They were on sale for $40 - half off. So I got a complete set of boots for the same price of the jungle boots, after I bought insoles for the jungle boots.

The DieHards have zippers, which I wanted to avoid, because I occasionally have to clean a room with a high-pressure hose. But I grew to appreciate the zipper. It makes the boots relatively easy to get on and off, helping me avoid unlacing the top several holes. And the boots never leaked through the zippers, though I never submersed the boots that deep.

The soles have much better cushion than the jungle boots, so my feet felt less fatigued throughout the day. And the uppers provide better ankle support than the jungle boots, which just flop over if you attempt to stand them up.

But then after several months, things started to go south. The soles started to split. I attempted using super glue, before the splitting progressed too far, but the glue wouldn't hold. I tried Gorilla glue with a negative result. Then I started to research what people use to repair split soles online. I stumbled across barge cement. It's used for boat repairs. But originally, it was used as a shoe-manufacturing adhesive.

So I tried the barge cement - a couple times. The adhesive, at least some of it, would hold for a couple days, then fail. Also, though the packaging says it takes overnight to dry, it took at least 48 hours, which concurred with what I read online about doing shoe repairs. Side note: on another pair of shoes, I have had better luck reattaching soles to the bottom of shoes, as opposed to repairing split soles.

So in the end, I am left with two pairs of split soles after using them at a job for less than a year. In all fairness, I do kneel and "fold" my feet quite often, so that is an obvious contributor to the downfall of the Rothcos and DieHards, but I still would have expected more wear from both of them.

DieHard or DieEasy?
Previous Boot Review:  Jungle Combat Boots
Next Boot Review: Third Tacticool Work Boots COMING SOON

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beretta 9mm Full-Size PX4 Storm: Yawn? Part 1

My wife and I have been members of the NRA for years. And we both did a lot of shooting before we met, but:

For the first time ever a few days ago, my wife and I went to the range together. We had looked at the guns there a few days before that, and she had picked out one that she wanted to shoot: a compact Beretta PX4 Storm in 9mm.
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact DA/SA, credit:
When we actually went to shoot, we asked for the Storm and realized that the one they said they had available to rent wasn't the exact same gun: it was the full size. No biggy. We were there to have fun, and to familiarize my wife with our own 9mm, anyway.
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size DAO, credit:
I really wanted to love that Beretta. I like the concept of the rotating barrel, instead of a tipping barrel. It's suppose to reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil. The gun looks nicely contoured, and I like the "speed" cuts on the slide. Also, as a bonus: not only was the rental gun not a compact, but it wasn't traditional double-action/single-action; it had a double-action-only trigger system. I've thought about switching to a DAO, like the Sig P250, or a striker-fired pistol (of course), so it was nice to try one. But:

I was left unimpressed. In all fairness, I didn't put that many rounds through the gun. And as a tool, once I spent more time with it, I would most likely have adapted to the gun AND accessorized it - a little.

So with the caveat that I was shooting the Storm again the P95 that I am developing growing confidence with, here are my initial impressions.

Initial Impressions
Initial Handling
Like I stated above, I really like the lines of the gun, though the slide combined with the dust cover and accessory rail looks a little chunky. The grip is nicely contoured and fits the hand well, though it feels a little slick. I guess that's what skateboard tape, grip sleeves, and stippling is for - or just getting used to the feel. I felt like the slide serrations were not pronounced enough, when I racked the slide, but my wife was racking my P95 from the front of the slide, so I guess that I could man up and deal with it. On the flipside, those serrations are snag free.

Initial Shooting
The DAO trigger was surprisingly light, and the long pull was no distraction compared to the single-action trigger on my P95. With the P95, I kept a string of ten rounds of "moderate" (a little under 1 round per second, while trying to abide by the one-round-per-second range rule - with requisite crusty looks from fellow range participants) fire within the center 4"x6" on a silhouette. With the Storm, a ten-round string was double that. I blame the generous light around the front post in relation to the rear sight. I was able to maintain much better accuracy, if I slowed way down and concentrated on the keeping the front post centered in the rear notch. Generous light around a front post has been touted as a good facilitator for acquiring the sights in a high-stress situtaion.

The gun felt good, but the frame felt too smooth. With such a nice looking gun, I expected cooler looking magazines - for some reason.

My wife had multiple jams with the gun, so she preferred shooting our P95. But in all fairness, she also had multiple jams with the P95 - but fewer. We worked on her technique more with the P95, and she even mentioned that she felt that she would do better with the Storm, if she had spent more time with it.

To Be Continued, NEXT: After-Range Thoughts

Monday, March 10, 2014

What You Might Want To Know Before Buying Your (First) Gun, Part 2

Previous Post

More food for thought over at Misfires and Light Strikes blog. Exurban Kevin listed 10 things I wish someone had told me about guns.  And I pretty much agree with more of his points, but with caveats.
4. Spending $100 in ammo on a rental range saves you a lot more money in buyer’s remorse.
I think trying some guns make sense, but firing the guns, like I suggested in my previous post, isn't the whole story. Practicing goes a long way toward making the gun fit you, and you fit the gun, and you can't do that at a gun range - or most gun ranges.
5. Unless you’re a collector, never buy Generation 1 of any gun.
Someone's gotta try the beta version, and sometimes you want to try the latest/greatest. I would trade my P95 for an SR9 that was recalled, because it fits my hand so much better. A cheap used gun could have filled the gap.

To Be Continued

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What You Might Want To Know Before Buying Your (First) Gun, Part 1

Food for thought over at Misfires and Light Strikes blog. Exurban Kevin listed 10 things I wish someone had told me about guns.  I pretty much agree with most of his points, but with caveats.
1. Buying the gun is the cheap part. Feeding it is the expensive part.
But it didn't matter when I was single and had cash to burn.
2. Accessory availability matters. I love my CZ’s, but there’s just not the range of add-ons for it as there is for a Glock or M&P.
I wish I would have thought about this when I was actually planning to buy one of my guns, instead of when I was just reading gun-magazine articles and fawning over those glossy photos. Even though the P95 had been made for almost two decades, I did not realize that it did not attract massive accessorizing and customizing like Glocks and 1911s.
3. It’s okay to take a LOT of time before buying a gun.
Yeah, I have spent exorbitant amounts of time trying to decide what gun to get. Unfortunately, you really - if you're lucky- you have 80% of the information to make your monumental decision. But in the end, you have just bought a tool that has been designed to fit the needs and bodies of an average of some people. The next step is learning how to use, adapt to, and take care of the tool. The 1000-round trigger job, as described on Bob Mayne's Handgun World Podcast, goes a long way towards those ends (substitute dry-fire practice to cut ammo costs).

 To Be Continued

Monday, March 3, 2014

Top Ten Civilian Defense Arms ... Of All Time, Part 1.1

Everyone has the right and responsibility to defend themselves and their community. A civilian-defense arm is the bedrock of that defense, a "badge of office," and a deterrent to those who want to violate the other rights of the individual.

But what is a "civilian defense arm?" Or is it "civil defense arm?" First, let's look at the use of civilians for a common defense looks like in modern America.

In the USA, there is an impulse and tradition to keep the populace armed with civilian weapons, to keep civilians trained in martial skills, and to call up civilians for a common defense. Also, the origin of the militia and continuous martial preparedness did not spring spontaneously into existence in the North American colonies of the British Empire, and the right to civilian arms ownership was not invented by the 1791 Bill of Rights.

The call up of true civilians has largely been relegated to informal non-state, self-defense actions, such as neighborhood watches during national disasters. State Guards (not to be confused with National Guards) cannot be called into national service and the members can refuse orders without punitive action outside of dismissal, but they are not exactly the same as the unorganized militia mentioned in the U.S. Code. On the flipside, even though most states have ignored using the militia, several states have forbade militias from practicing outside of direct state control or marksmanship activities (which so protected within the U.S. Code).

The NRA was formed by former Civil War officers out of concern for maintaining marksmanship skills.

Based on the U.S. Code for unorganized militia, should the USA be required to supply arms to all adults and ammo at least at cost?

A Preliminary List:
In no particular order.
.22 Anything
12-gauge Shotgun

Honorable Mention:
Kentucky Rifle

Real Time Web Analytics